CIF City Titles - 2003
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Los Angeles City Section Champions
Much more than a City Section title was at stake for the Chancellors when they faced the Carson Colts on a cool night at Dodger Stadium.The Chancellors went into the game ranked No. 1 in the nation and only a victory would guarantee their first national championship. They stood up to the challenge. Behind a marvelous performance by right-hander Justin Cassel and a huge home run by left fielder Bryan Petersen, the Chancellors defeated the Colts, 3-0, in front of about 4,000.
It was Chatsworth's third City Section title in five years and fifth overall. And when the final polls were announced a few days later, the Chancellors were declared national champions by USA Today, Baseball America magazine and Collegiate Baseball magazine. They were the first California team to be voted No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America in 11 years.
Cassel (15-0), a UC Irvine-bound senior who dominated all season, saved his best for the biggest stage yet. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before settling for his fourth one hitter and eighth shutout of the year. As expected, he was selected the City Section most valuable player.
The Chancellors (33-1) reached the final riding a 14-game winning streak, including shutouts in two of the three playoff games: Fremont, 12-0; Kennedy, 2-0, and Banning, 4-3. Carson, which had lost to Chatsworth, 5-4, in a nonleague game at Carson in March, represented the last obstacle on the championship road.
Chatsworth wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Senior leadoff batter and right fielder Keith Renno reached on an error and scored on senior catcher Jordan Sisson's single through the middle for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Cassel then went to work and made the run stand inning after inning with a hard fastball and sharp curve ball that produced nine strikeouts. The first-inning run would have been sufficient to win the game, but Petersen came up with a virtual clincher in the sixth inning.
With senior pitcher Ross Liddell pinch-running at second base for junior outfielder Kevin Lee, who had walked as a pinch-hitter, Petersen turned on a 0-and-i offering from right hander Luis Magadan and blasted a 375-homer to right-center field to put the Chancellors ahead, 3-0. It was only the 15th homer in a City Section final since the title game started being played at Dodger Stadium in 1969.
A few minutes later, after senior second baseman Nimish Patel had fielded a grounder and fed senior shortstop Brett Munster for a game-ending force out at second base, the Chancellors were celebrating like they had never before with another City Section title and their first national championship.
2003 City Final Box Score
a-Replaced at bat by Cruz. b-Walked for Patel in the 6th. c-Ran for Lee in the 6th. d-Replaced at bat by Fredericks. E: Rodriguez. LOB: Carson 4, Chatsworth 2. HR: Petersen (5). SB: Napoleon, Renno, Dominguez. S: Renno.